Calls for Police Service: Understanding the demand profile and the UK police response

Boulton, Laura orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5623-8884, McManus, Michelle Ann orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0095-1071, Metcalfe, L., Brian, David John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7518-7848 and Dawson, I (2016) Calls for Police Service: Understanding the demand profile and the UK police response. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles . ISSN 0032-258X

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Purpose – The purpose of this research paper is to identify and understand the demand profile of a division of Lancashire Police Constabulary in order to assist Police administrators in the evaluation of demand and understanding of Policing response.
Design/methodology/approach – Police data records regarding all offences within the
Central Division of Lancashire Police Constabulary over the year of 2013 were examined. Descriptive statistics were used to identify the top ten demand addresses in five categories (residential, statutory bodies, retail, nightlife, and young people’s services), and the incident classifications, time frames and response codes that were most associated with these addresses. Further content analysis was conducted on the top ten residential addresses in order to identify specific characteristics of residential demand.
Findings - The majority of Lancashire Constabulary resources are being spent dealing with non-traditional police demand. The most demanding residents were found to have one or more of the following properties; (i) to be of white – Northern European origin, (ii) to be unemployed, (iii) to be associated with mental health issues, domestic violence incidents or substance abuse, and (iv) to have previously had other agency involvement.
Practical Implications - These results indicate that the police could potentially reduce the demand for service by enhancing work within two key areas; partnership working and early intervention.
Originality/value – In this time of austerity and police budget cuts, it is important to understand the demand on the UK police service in an attempt to reduce it.

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